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Posted: 1/30/2006 2:46:59 PM EDT
I've got an interview this week for a new tech support/admin/IT position and i want to absolutely NAIL this job, the problem is i SUCK HORRIBLY at interviews. i'm edgy, anxious and nervous in interviews. I try to make myself seem confident but i think it makes me look more like a tard. i had a preliminary and a phone interview with the company today and i'm pretty good at phone stuff given my background in social engineering and previous "customer service" over the phone. it's just in person i fail miserably at.

any advice? everything you say will not fall on deaf ears(eyes?)
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:50:01 PM EDT


carry the Executive Elite Series Surefire
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:51:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jr1092:
www.surefire.com/surefire/content/e2eha_full02.jpg

carry the Executive Elite Series Surefire



that was completely and utterly worthless. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:52:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI:
any advice? everything you say will not fall on deaf ears(eyes?)



Just show up naked. Hasn't failed me yet
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:52:47 PM EDT
1) act interested!

2) when they ask for questions, ask one good serious question, make your second question something like "that sounds great, can I have the job?"

You literally need to make it seem like you'd crawl over 20 miles of broken glass just to get to work in this job...every day.

They will interview a good amount of people, and have to decide who they want. Make thier job easier by actually saying "can I have the job" or something to that effect at the end of the interview.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:52:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:53:12 PM EDT
Bring a hammer.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:53:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:53:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:54:20 PM EDT
Put on a good show. My favorite interviewing technique is to research the company I'm interviewing with, and make light of my knowledge of the company, and ask the recruiter questions that show a real interest in being with the company. Make it seem that the company is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and act accordingly.

Works for me, I've never lost an interview. YMMV.


Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:55:06 PM EDT
For starters....stop thinking you suck horibly at interviews...

Second, have a friend ask you questions likely to be asked in the interview...like, what is your experience with X? Why do you like this kind of work? How would you handle a situation such as y?

Lastly, send a follow up letter. In the first paragraph thank them for the interview and say you enjoyed learning more about the position and the company.

In the next couple paragraphs restate two or three of your strongest points on why you would excell in the position, which basically reiterates why they should hire you. (Make sure you proof read the hell out of the letter, no fuck ups). In the last paragraph say thank you again, and tell them not to hesitate to call should they have anymore questions. Leave your primary contact number in the last paragraph as well.

That should cover it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:55:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Put on a good show. My favorite interviewing technique is to research the company I'm interviewing with, and make light of my knowledge of the company, and ask the recruiter questions that show a real interest in being with the company. Make it seem that the company is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and act accordingly.

Works for me, I've never lost an interview. YMMV.





that's usually what i do. i'm stoked. it's a good position that works well with my class schedule, it pays well, and it's overnights(perfect for me)
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:56:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Put on a good show. My favorite interviewing technique is to research the company I'm interviewing with, and make light of my knowledge of the company, and ask the recruiter questions that show a real interest in being with the company. Make it seem that the company is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and act accordingly.

Works for me, I've never lost an interview. YMMV.





BAM! You nailed it. Huge +1.

BTW - As a joke, I once told my uncle to answer the question "Do you think outside the box" with "There is no box". The fucker did it, and the interviewer liked it so much, he hired him right then and there.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:57:10 PM EDT
if they have a company website, spend a few hours reading over it, find out stuff on there. and if possible, ask some questions about what you found on their site (but you obviously wouldnt want to force yourself to find a question if it would make you look dumb or something)
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:58:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By soccermike7:
if they have a company website, spend a few hours reading over it, find out stuff on there. and if possible, ask some questions about what you found on their site (but you obviously wouldnt want to force yourself to find a question if it would make you look dumb or something)



i've been looking over it but i'm really not sure what kind of solutions they provide. I actually am interested in it though.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:59:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI: any advice? everything you say will not fall on deaf ears(eyes?)
Yeah, see if you can get interviewed by a hot HR chick. I notice that I only do bad in interviews where the HR chick is fat, ugly, or both.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:00:55 PM EDT
Oh yeah, big +1 on sending a followup email.

A postal letter takes too long to get there.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:02:50 PM EDT
Can you pass yourself off as a minority woman? Helps with big corporations and .gov jobs!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:04:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By crazyquik:
Oh yeah, big +1 on sending a followup email.

A postal letter takes too long to get there.



Both. Typed, personally addressed, with your signature in blue is a nice personal touch.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:05:35 PM EDT
Send a thank you card for the interview. Not an email. A real honest to goodness card. I've heard several cases where that alone was a reason why someone got a job over someone else.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:05:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By the_great_snag:
Can you pass yourself off as a minority woman? Helps with big corporations and .gov jobs!



i'm half mexican, so i think i have about 1/4 of that
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:09:37 PM EDT
YOU HAVE IT BACKWARDS!

Turn the tables on them. Think of it as YOU are interviewing the company to see if you want to work there, not as if they are interviewing you....
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:10:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 3:21:12 PM EDT by gaspain]
Be honest. It may hurt a bit, but believe in yourself. Sell your high points(what you are excellent at) and be honest about your weak areas, but you must have a plan to improve your weak areas. Do not divulge weak areas unless you have a plan for them!

Goes like this:

Manager: "tell me about your skills as a web designer?"
You: "I am an excellent designer, I use html, C++ and have some experiance with Flash animation. I designed X amount websites with 100% repeat business. Some of the highlights of my web coding includes cascade.com, lifemag.com and nmls.org all of these sites are very visual intensive and that is where my skills really excell. On one occasion however I was tasked with building a shopping cart for a client, we got it done for her but I had to contract it out to another collegue that is more proficient in shopping cart generation, I felt that I would have been selling the client short I we did a half-assed job, so in the end it worked out very well. I am now studying up on shopping carts and secure-html and have a night class this quarter on the subject at Dodinger University, I dont expect the class to interfere with the job but it will actually enhance my skill set...which is in turn good for the company in the long run"

basically be yourself, be honest, dont stretch the truth. Use a vocabulary they can understand then throw in some clever words to make yourself stand out.

Also, dress for the job - plus one. So, if the job is a polo shirt collared shirt daily wear. Wear something +1...like a long sleeve collared shirt. Or if the job is jeans and T-shirt. Wear Jeans and a collared shirt to the interview. Dont wear a suit and tie, if the job you are applying for is a jeans ant t-shirt type job. You want to stand out but not look like an alien.

These are very basic rules you can follow, Good luck
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:12:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
Be honest. It may hurt a bit, but believe in yourself. Sell your high points(what you are excellent at) and be honest about your weak areas, but you must have a plan to improve your weak areas.

Goes like this:

Manager: "tell me about your skills as a web designer?"
You: "I am an excellent designer, I use html, C++ and have some experiance with Flash animation. I designed X amount websites with 100% repeat business. Some of the highlights of my web coding includes cascade.com, lifemag.com and nmls.org all of these sites are very visual intensive and that is where my skills really excell. On one occasion however I was tasked with building a shopping cart for a client, we got it done for her but I had to contract it out to another collegue that is more proficient in shopping cart generation, I felt that I would have been selling the client short I we did a half-assed job, so in the end it worked out very well. I am now studying up on shopping carts and secure-html and have a night class this quarter on the subject at Dodinger University, I dont expect the class to interfere with the job but it will actually enhance my skill set...which is in turn good for the company in the long run"

basically be yourself, be honest, dont stretch the truth. Use a vocabulary they can understand then throw in some clever words to make yourself stand out.

Also, dress for the job - plus one. So, if the job is a polo shirt collared shirt daily wear. Wear something +1...like a long sleeve collared shirt. Or if the job is jeans and T-shirt. Wear Jeans and a collared shirt to the interview. Dont wear a suit and tie, if the job you are applying for is a jeans ant t-shirt type job. You want to stand out but not look like an alien.

These are very basic rules you can follow, Good luck



see, thats the problem, i don't KNOW what the dress is like at the company. would i be out of line to ASK?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:17:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI:

see, thats the problem, i don't KNOW what the dress is like at the company. would i be out of line to ASK?



what exactly is the job? Most IT guys I know wear collared polo shirts. So you could get by with a long sleve shirt maybe a tie or not...do whats comfy for you, Slacks or nice clean jeans.

But you really should research the job some more to understand waht you are getting into. Do a recon mission.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:22:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By go3:
Bring a hammer.




This really is the best way to nail anything, except chicks! Remember, the bigger the hammer, it takes fewer swings to get the job done!



Good luck!

Travis

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:23:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI:

see, thats the problem, i don't KNOW what the dress is like at the company. would i be out of line to ASK?



what exactly is the job? Most IT guys I know wear collared polo shirts. So you could get by with a long sleve shirt maybe a tie or not...do whats comfy for you, Slacks or nice clean jeans.

But you really should research the job some more to understand waht you are getting into. Do a recon mission.



i pretty much know what it will be, and i'm used to it. overnight linux technical support.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:27:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI:


see, thats the problem, i don't KNOW what the dress is like at the company. would i be out of line to ASK?



NO!

Just call up HR tomorrow, and ask whoever picks up the phone "yes I have an interview this week and was wondering what the preferred attire is. Professional, business casual, etc?"

Whatever they say, don't go lower than that. Maybe a step up, but definently not lower.

AND DONT BE LATE!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:28:27 PM EDT
My career is a bit different, but I like to go in with a short term business plan <12 months, based on my strengths and what I know about that company through due diligence during the interview process. By the way, make sure to do your due diligence, i.e. research the company and the position. Preparation tends to make you much more confident. I also recommend having your "attaboy" file handy so that you can provide successful/tangible documentation of your work history. I also like to have a summary page with 1/2 of the page dedicated to "Why XYZ is Right for John Doe" and the other 1/2 dedicated to "Why John Doe is Right for XYZ." All of this is in addition to your ability to sell yourself. I absolutely recommend wearing dress pants/dress shirt/tie/sport coat at the VERY LEAST. My nurse got his job six years ago largely because he was the only one who cared enough to make the effort. Ask each person you interview with for the job, or for their support of you in the final decision. Lastly, leave each person a hand written thank you note immediately after the interview so that they will receive it before the end of business...do not mail them anything. Or, at the very least, get their e-mail addresses and send a thank you ASAP. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

Blake
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:17:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kingpinGTI:
I've got an interview this week for a new tech support/admin/IT position and i want to absolutely NAIL this job, the problem is i SUCK HORRIBLY at interviews. i'm edgy, anxious and nervous in interviews. I try to make myself seem confident but i think it makes me look more like a tard. i had a preliminary and a phone interview with the company today and i'm pretty good at phone stuff given my background in social engineering and previous "customer service" over the phone. it's just in person i fail miserably at.

any advice? everything you say will not fall on deaf ears(eyes?)



They aren't interviewing you.

You are interviewing them.

That is all.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:19:08 PM EDT
Ever see "there's something about mary"????

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:29:48 PM EDT
Blow jobs.

Getting hired is nothing more than a long series of blow jobs.

You give your interviewer a good blow job, and he'll take a shine to you. He'll want more blow jobs, and will then go to the man above him to make sure that this happens. He will give this man a blow job, in order to secure favor. This man, after having received an award-winning blow job of his own, will want to reward his underling for having such enthusiasm about the company. So he will in turn make certain, through whatever means necessary, that the interviewer is rewarded properly. This generally means another blow job given either to the man above him, or laterally to someone in charge of another department.

So you see, the blow job is the key. Make sure and brush and floss well the morning of the interview. Sucking an Altoid during the blow job process is a little something extra, and helps to show you're really committed to this company, and willing to go the extra mile to make sure that things turn out the best for all parties involved.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:36:29 PM EDT
Simple stuff always seems to slip people's minds. Sorry, this is mundane stuff, but good to remember.

1. Never forget that you may be monitored from the time you get out of the vehicle, approach the secretary, until you enter the interview room.
2. Stand and sit erect - never slump. If there's a desk or other surface in front of you, don't place anything except forearms and papers on it. Do not lean onto any surface.
3. Firm handshake.
4. Eye contact. If it's a multi-person interview board, keep eye contact with the person asking you a question. As you give your answer, move your eyes to each person in turn, and end on the person asking the question again.
5. When thinking of an answer to a question you're asked, look up, or at an object in front of you, but don't stare at the floor. Avoid "ummmm's" as much as possible.
6. Use humor at least once or twice during the interview. A good sense of humor relaxes the interviewer, and lets them know you're someone they can work with.
7. Sounds dumb, but double check your zipper is up, and your zipper flap is not creased the wrong way showing your brass. Likewise, make sure your shoes are tied and strings aren't flapping.
8. Floss, use listerine, and chew some gum. Bad breath is always remembered.
9. You know what your nervous habits are (picking fingernails, biting lip, etc). Recognize them and control them...make sure you appear in control of yourself.
10. Remember, interviews aren't about whether you're qualified for the position...your application/resume told them that. Interviews are to decide if you'll "Fit" into the company, and get along with the people.

Good Luck!!!
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:41:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Put on a good show. My favorite interviewing technique is to research the company I'm interviewing with, and make light of my knowledge of the company, and ask the recruiter questions that show a real interest in being with the company. Make it seem that the company is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and act accordingly.

Works for me, I've never lost an interview. YMMV.






Do this, plus be outgoing even if you have to adopt a new personality. Fool yourself into thinking that you already have the job. Fake it till ya make it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:45:05 PM EDT
I ended 1 interview with a statement along the lines of

" I want my picture to be on your new employee wall"

Eveyone on the interview immediatley stopped what they were doing. I had everyone in that rooms complete attention. One interviewer said that he was impressed, and every body agreed.

Or you could say something like " I want my picture in the employee of the month/quarter/year spot.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:46:15 PM EDT
oops, IBSN
(inbeforethespellingnazis)
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:46:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 9:47:18 PM EDT by texastactical]
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 9:56:41 PM EDT
I agree with alot that has been mentioned, the main thing that helped me was asking questions that showed that I was interested in the job. Sit down with someone and think of alot of questions to ask of your interviewers, write them all down. At some point in the interview, probably during the end you will usually be asked if you have any questions for them. I carried a nice little leather folio in with a legal pad, questions and copies of my resume. They have probably looked at your resume but, my not have it at hand. I made about ten copies and handed them out to each person at the table. I also had a copy on diskette in case anyone wanted else wanted a copy. I had alot of questions prepared, some had already been answered so I just crossed them off as I went. Add this with appearance, posture, and eye contact. and you convey to them that you are prepared and interested in the job, and not just a paycheck. When introduced, try your best to remember names and use them when addressing people. If someone uses an acronym, or industries specific term that you are not familiar with ask them to explain. If you don't know and just bluff you will still seem like an idiot, you may have vast knowledge about a specific area but just don't use that particular term in regards to it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:05:28 PM EDT
Dress appropriately, tend to a little over dressed rather than underdressed.

Research the company, find out what they do and how you can help. The website should have enough info to give you a hint.

Don't worry about being nervous unless you are really really nervous. Recruiters are used to that. When I was college recruiting a few times I spent 20 minutes of a 25 minute session calming down kids on their first interviews, but in the last 5 minutes, they did fine when they came out to the company. Just don't try to BS anybody. Nothing pisses off a recruiter more than a bs artist.

Getting the interview is the big hurdle (I've over 20 years with recruiting/staffing as at least a collateral responsibility if not primary responsibility). You've convinced a few people that you have the basic fit. Most of the time HR is weeding out candidates. I'ld say that usually only about 10% of ad responses are close, and half of those aren't close fits after the phone interviews.

As aan IT guy, ask about the hardware and systems, networking devices, you should be able to put a basic question to get a little and then build on that. Not only does it show interest but also if you can discuss the system from questions you'll do fine. Ask what they use and how they like it. Who do the IT guys report to, etc.

Get a friend to practice interviews with you.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 10:08:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sagus:
Simple stuff always seems to slip people's minds. Sorry, this is mundane stuff, but good to remember.

1. Never forget that you may be monitored from the time you get out of the vehicle, approach the secretary, until you enter the interview room.
2. Stand and sit erect - never slump. If there's a desk or other surface in front of you, don't place anything except forearms and papers on it. Do not lean onto any surface.
3. Firm handshake.
4. Eye contact. If it's a multi-person interview board, keep eye contact with the person asking you a question. As you give your answer, move your eyes to each person in turn, and end on the person asking the question again.
5. When thinking of an answer to a question you're asked, look up, or at an object in front of you, but don't stare at the floor. Avoid "ummmm's" as much as possible.
6. Use humor at least once or twice during the interview. A good sense of humor relaxes the interviewer, and lets them know you're someone they can work with.
7. Sounds dumb, but double check your zipper is up, and your zipper flap is not creased the wrong way showing your brass. Likewise, make sure your shoes are tied and strings aren't flapping.
8. Floss, use listerine, and chew some gum. Bad breath is always remembered.
9. You know what your nervous habits are (picking fingernails, biting lip, etc). Recognize them and control them...make sure you appear in control of yourself.
10. Remember, interviews aren't about whether you're qualified for the position...your application/resume told them that. Interviews are to decide if you'll "Fit" into the company, and get along with the people.

Good Luck!!!




Worth reading again!



Plus, bring a boombox, so that in case you are being interviewed by a woman, you can rip off your shirt and dance on her desk a little !

Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:28:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sagus:
Simple stuff always seems to slip people's minds. Sorry, this is mundane stuff, but good to remember.

1. Never forget that you may be monitored from the time you get out of the vehicle, approach the secretary, until you enter the interview room.
2. Stand and sit erect - never slump. If there's a desk or other surface in front of you, don't place anything except forearms and papers on it. Do not lean onto any surface.
3. Firm handshake.
4. Eye contact. If it's a multi-person interview board, keep eye contact with the person asking you a question. As you give your answer, move your eyes to each person in turn, and end on the person asking the question again.
5. When thinking of an answer to a question you're asked, look up, or at an object in front of you, but don't stare at the floor. Avoid "ummmm's" as much as possible.
6. Use humor at least once or twice during the interview. A good sense of humor relaxes the interviewer, and lets them know you're someone they can work with.
7. Sounds dumb, but double check your zipper is up, and your zipper flap is not creased the wrong way showing your brass. Likewise, make sure your shoes are tied and strings aren't flapping.
8. Floss, use listerine, and chew some gum. Bad breath is always remembered.
9. You know what your nervous habits are (picking fingernails, biting lip, etc). Recognize them and control them...make sure you appear in control of yourself.
10. Remember, interviews aren't about whether you're qualified for the position...your application/resume told them that. Interviews are to decide if you'll "Fit" into the company, and get along with the people.

Good Luck!!!



11. when finding yourself clasping your hands, be sure to hold them in a steeple position, as it shows confidence
12. when you find yourself babbling, turn it around with a quick question like, so what is your perspective on that? or whatever, but he who talks the most usually concedes
13. do not feel inferior! like I said before, you are interviewing them - it is a two way street....they need someone and you need a job....try not to look needy and do not feel they have the upper hand - afterall, they called YOU in, remember?
14. this is negotiation....when they ask you questions you give them answers, but remember not to give away concessions....and always ask them a question in return
15. you can rehearse 90% of a negotiation because most of the questions and counter questions are easy to figure out....prepare for those, this way you can be on your toes for the other 10%
16. go to 1/2 price books and for about $5 you can get a negotiating book (they have many to choose from, and all are pretty good)
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:39:09 AM EDT
Alot of good advice here...

Do NOT wear jeans. It's not going to hurt you to put on a shirt and tie. Look like a professional, and people are more likely to treat you as one.

Also, you need to show them that in addition to being technically competent, you are a person that they will want to work with; so be engaging. Try to relax. Reread the posts here. They've covered the rest of my advice.

Good luck!

BTW, don't be discouraged when yo udon't get the job. There are so many hiden variables that go into this. The person who preceded you may have been Bill Gates, or worse, the boss' nephew!
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:56:07 AM EDT
Do not take a cell phone or pager in with you.

I was part of a round 2 interview panel a few months ago. A guy had his Nextel on his belt. Ya, it bleeped during.... The guy was well qualified for the Forecasting/Planning position but in the post interview discussion with the others on the panel I asked "How well did he plan he for the interview when he couldn't remember to even turn off his phone?"

We selected a less qualified candidate whom we believed was more trainable to our methods. He was rather nervous during his interview but very open to additional training.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:56:34 AM EDT
I agree with KS_Physicist, and mikejohnson. You are interviewing them.
The best interview I ever had was for the job I have now. At the time I was working in a job that I really enjoyed, but this job was such a good opportunity, that I couldn't pass up.
During the interview, I wouldn't say I didn't give a rat's ass if I got it or not, but I had nothing to lose, and a lot of confidence. If I didn't get the job, I wasn't out anything. My old boss supported me going after this job, and said he wouldn't let me pass it up.
Out of college, I got turned down about 35 times in 2 months. Mostly for jobs I was over-qualified for. Nothing I was doing wrong (except no experiece), the market was just that tough.
ASK QUESTIONS. That shows you're interested in different facets of the company.
You wouldn't believe how far a good firm handshake goes. Now, don't break your interviewers hand, but be firm.
Don't be afraid to say you don't have experiece in an area, or that you've had limited experience. But then come right back and say I'm willing to learn about it. You don't have to know all the answers. Don't lie to them, because if you get busted doing it, you definately won't get the job.
They don't necessarily care if you have infinite knowledge about your previous company, they want you to have knowledge about how they do things.
I also like to bring a little humor sometimes to the interview. Not politics humor though, leave that at home.
Good luck.
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